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When will Conservatives ever treat women with a modicum of decency, even dignity?

And to think that Morrison knew all about it. Well, to be more precise, both the Liberal and National parties knew of this rape before the 2019 election. In fact, right in the middle of the campaign.

Had it been disclosed at the time, it might have made the difference between winning and losing for Labor.

Shades of John Howard and children overboard again, but more important, however, this time is just who decided to do a hush job. You might recall his very Christian reaction when he became Prime Minister, but when a young woman was allegedly raped, he decided to cover up.

According to the victim, staffer Brittany Higgins, her rape took place in Defence Minister Lynda Reynolds’s office on 19 April after a Friday night drinking session.

The election was held on 18 May.

The damage that such an act would have done to the conservatives – both Liberal and National – during an election campaign would be immeasurable. So what did they decide to do?

Well, on the surface, at least it looks as though they decided to double up on her pain.

The poor girl involved says she didn’t make a formal complaint because she wanted to hang onto her job and not do any harm to the reputation of the Liberal Party. What reputation one might ask?

A follow-up meeting was held inside the same office; the offence is alleged to have taken place a decision the Government concedes is “regretted.”

What moronic individual made such an inhumane decision knowing that it would almost certainly do further harm. Was it intended to?

The issue of the toxic treatment of women inside Parliament House and men’s behaviour within the Liberal and National parties yet again raises its ugly head. Remember Barnaby Joyce and the affair that led to his marriage’s breakup. Remember the Attorney-General Christian Porter kissing in a Canberra pub.

Back to Brittany Higgins, it was reported that:

“… a man working for then-defence industry minister Linda Reynolds took a 24-year-old female media staffer into Parliament House after a Friday night drinking session in March 2019 and allegedly raped her inside the defence industry minister’s office.”

On the Ministers, couch to be exact.

She should hang a sign on her door. “No defence here.”

Her story follows many other women known and unknown who have experienced similar situations.

The junior staffer was very new to her job – just four weeks, in fact – before this horrendous experience occurred. She then had to endure the decision between making a formal complaint or keeping her career.

After it was made perfectly clear that she might lose her job, she was shunted into Employment Minister Michaelia Cash’s office before Ms Higgins resigned.

A statement from a member of the Prime Minister’s Office said the reports about the incident were “deeply distressing.”

“At all times, guidance was sought from Ms Higgins as to how she wished to proceed, and to support and respect her decisions.

Throughout the entire process the overriding concern for Government was to support Ms Higgins’ welfare in whatever way possible.”

It sounds like they were falling over backwards to help her make the right moves to their advantage.

 

Brittany Higgins and Scott Morrison (Image from huffingtonpost.com.au – Photos from Channel 10 and Getty Images)

 

But after all this time, even after being denied access to video footage of the two’s movements, Ms Higgins has decided to ask the AFP to investigate. The why of that is another question. Given their record of investigating this Government, I wouldn’t say I like her chances.

Come Tuesday morning, the Prime Minister in a solemn mood to fit the occasion, fronts the media with apologises for everything under the sun. He had discussed the matter with his wife overnight and now looks at it from the point of view of what if it were his children.

 

 

His first defence was that he never knew, no one had told him anything. I found this to be wholly implausible, and secondly, that it was all a disgrace and he would move Heaven and earth to right everything. But as I said initially, I contend that the Prime Minister knew about it and wanted it covered up.

Of course, “not knowing anything” gave him the excuse to repair matters. Had he known, would not he have the obvious question; “Why didn’t you do something then?”

Samantha Maiden gets its right when she reports that:

“If history is any guide, he the Scott Morrison’s response to Brittany Higgins’ shocking account of sexual assault at Parliament House in Canberra will be open and shut.

He will urge her to take the matter to the police – which she did at the time – and perhaps suggest that is the beginning and the end of the matter?

But is it?

Or, do political parties owe the people that work for them – in this case a 24-year-old young woman – a more significant duty of care if they are sexually assaulted at work?”

If I might add to that, I think that Morrison gets away with his teary act too often and the “I wasn’t told” defence is just a poor excuse.

But time never diminishes the crime. What is needed is for men to grow up and be the men they are supposed to be. These events are just another addition to the many incidents of mistreating women.

My thought for the day

History is just an ongoing commentary on the incompetence of men.

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17 comments

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  1. leefe

    In regard to your headline:
    They won’t. Ever. Because one of the most important (to them) things that must be conserved is the Victorian attitude to women and their status relative to men.
    They need someone on whom they can look down and feel superior to. And the tory women play along (and are often even worse) because they think (or hope) it will give them a tiny skerrick of power and safety (note: it won’t; if they ever forget their place they will cop it big time).

  2. Terence Mills

    There are so many aspects of this affair that are deeply disturbing not the least of which is the question of whether the Canberra Bubble is a safe place for young women to work.

    It has been reported that Brittany Higgins went to the police after the alleged assault in March 2019 but that she decided in April 2019 not to proceed with the complaint .

    In an email Higgins sent to the police on 13 April 2019, seen by Guardian Australia, she stated she had decided “not to proceed any further” with the complaint because “it’s just not the right decision for me, personally, especially in light of my current workplace demands”.

    In a case of this sort the police need to move quickly and as we know they have to take intimate samples to use in any future court case. They need to record bruising and other possible injuries. They need to interview the accused and in all respects carry out a thorough investigation for what is an extremely serious charge with significant consequences for a convicted defendant. Surely the rights of both parties are severely prejudiced by shelving the enquiry and then restarting it some two years later ?

    Inevitably this will, in a court of law, come down to a contest between the parties based on what was said, what was done and the question of voluntary consent. I can’t help feeling that the horse has bolted and nothing good can come of this : the two parties are likely to come out of this severely traumatised.

    I say this with the memory of a very similar situation involving a young man known to me who, some years ago, was the male defendant in such a case – he ended up committing suicide in jail.

  3. Gangsta's Paradise

    .

    It would appear Defence Minister Lynda Reynolds is always on the wrong side of history.

  4. Kerri

    I love it!
    It’s situations like these that show the true Morrison.
    Maybe if Scottyfrommarketing had been able to shake Brittany’s hand or build a cubby or chicken coop for her?
    The fact he requires “empathy coaching” says it all.
    And the fact that he used Jen and his daughters as an excuse to not be a macho man, hard politician.
    Can’t wait for the polls this week.

  5. Phil Pryor

    We will not get any decency, balance, fairness, justice, from this plague of conservative turds, whether driven by superstition, malice, supremacy, triumph, egofixated self focus or any rational cause, as they have a structured layer of social stratification, in which some god or spirit or contrived and projected self image is top, super top. Under that are chosen men, naturally chosen, by self and will of course, no ability or modesty needed.., and then comes a gap. Well down this vague list concept are lesser beings and as such, lesser means less of everything, duties, rights, rewards, status. Farcically exemplified is this story.., one of my old souvenired texts from schooldays (I have it still) points out that, after an election act of 1884 (Third Reform Bill situation) it was true now that the vote went to all, except peers, lunatics, foreigners, felons and women. So, women have long been regarded as down with the goats and lonely men have found some goats “attractive.” There is no go, no authority, no justice, no decency in the conservative attitude to women. Can we imagine having an investigation into this defence office rape allegation being run by Joyce, or Porter, or Tudge. let alone one of the other filthy fraud fronters for media whitewashing? The Minister must have told the P M, off the record as usual, and the situation was closed on the undoubtedly contrived situation of sacking of the man accused for an undoubtedly trumped up (hah) charge relating to security. No-one connected with the government apparently felt a crime was committed and a charge should be fully investigated. SO, is it that the price of being in the conservative political family is to offer, willingly or not, your faithful orifices for the good of morale and preferment? Thinking of “England”, as some did, is this the eternal problem, a proof of initiation and/or acceptance of rude requirements? Many leaders have seemed to bare their orifices, literally and figuratively, to, say, media moguls.

  6. Gangey1959

    Remove “WHEN” from your article’s headline, tick NO , and there is your answer.

  7. Vikingduk

    What else could we expect from this smirking jerk and his tart? They’re both followers of the happy clapping houston we have a problem, who is still being investigated for the coverup of his father’s paedo activities. Now, we just need his girls to ask dear daddy what about that family incarcerated on Xmas island, remember, the dark skinned family, two adults, two daughters, one bed, no friends allowed. Plenty security guards though. What if that were us, father dear?

    FFS, morrison, you fucking weasel, what part of rape don’t you understand?

  8. Bronte D G ALLAN

    Well said Mr Lord! This fucking incompetent bunch of losers & LIARS MUST fix these rape allegations properly & NOW! I would hope & expect that the offending part(ies) are dealt with promptly & properly ASAP. This rabble & their underlings are behaving more & more like a drunken Rugby players end of year celebrations, in my opinion!

  9. leefe

    “FFS, morrison, you fucking weasel, what part of rape don’t you understand?”

    The part about it mattering in any way apart from potentially damaging the brand.

  10. wam

    no mirth in today’s read, lord. Impossible to disagree with anything. “What is needed is for men to grow up and be the men they are supposed to be” is close but are they not already the men of conservatism? Is it not the premise of the macho that all women are fair game for you to do your all to get a score? The shame is the lnp women agree with the old boy’s behaviour. Although they are quicker to apologise for their errors when discovered.
    Not so sure about modicum, lord, do you mean like the rabbott treats peta or mirabella?
    Was he giving gillard an equal status by his attacks?

  11. Pete Petrass

    Scummo’s response is just disgraceful and he is playing us all for braindead idiots. I am sure nobody in the country believes he knew nothing about it; an actual rape in parly house; just up the hall from his office; in a ministers office no less; reynolds obviously knew of the rape before interviewing the victim but unbelievably was not told it was actually in her office; scummo’s own senior advisor was seconded to reynolds’ office at that time and told the victim to either move to reynolds’ office in perth or lose her job; later the victim moved to cash’s office to be told to “suck it up or quit”; the rapist was apparently sacked over a “security breach” not a rape; reynolds cannot recall if she gave the rapist a reference or helped him get that better job he went to; the victim AND the AFP were denied access to CCTV recordings; how many people in parly house have now seen those CCTV recordings; you can bet your arse scummo has watched it; of all the lieberals who knew about this for the past 2 years nobody has done anything about it; and to top it all off scummo claims zero knowledge of the rape and actually rejects the premise of her allegations!!!!!!!; we all know how bad the men treat the women in the lieberal party and now we find out the women are doing the same thing to other women too, how low can these people go?????????; the answer to that is scummo bringing out his marketing spin about jen and his kids and him being a father and such,absolute fucking scum

  12. Andrew J. Smith

    Aside from the bone headed response from Morrison based on urging of ‘Jen’ regarding allegations of sexual assult, there is another deep seated isuse within US style evangelical, other churches and religions, i.e. patriarchy that subordinates women; crosses over into conservative politics.

    Women are expected to subordinate themselves then follow both the church and their male husband and/or father and/or preacher. According to Berlet & Quigley in ‘Theocracy and White Supremacy: Behind the Culture War to Restore Traditional Values’ (Political Research Associates 1992) ‘The theocratic rightʼs ideal is an authoritarian society where Christian men interpret Godʼs will as law. Women are helpmates, and children are the property of their parents.’

    Meanwhile in a parallel universe, Hillsong has been featuring in Murdoch media, but in the US not Australia, i.e. The NY Post (15 Feb 2021):

    ‘Brian Houston, the founder of scandal-plagued megachurch Hillsong, has revealed he’s transitioning away from his current role as global senior pastor. (announced at a Sydney event)’

    This and related seemed to have flown under Australian media’ radar?

  13. Kronomex

    I see him laying in a big supply of dancing shoes as he goes on a huge Scotty Scuttle marathon to avoid any further attention stemming from the Brittany Higgins situation. Hawaii must be looking very tempting about now.

  14. Neilw

    If shit took human form – or humanoid form – it would look a bit like Smirko.

  15. Jan Murray

    Shut down the bar.

  16. Henry Rodrigues

    Scummo will never admit culpability of coverup or knowledge of the whole sordid affair, until a stake is shoved up one of his orifices. He didn’t lie, cheat, backstab his way to the Lodge for something as ‘trivial’ as a sexual assault by an ex liberal staffer.

    Not this smirking bastard.

    Phil Pryor….. you described it perfectly.

  17. Deidre Zanker

    Did Morrison or anyone else in the fed cabinet know about a paedophile amongst them?
    Has there been a cover up?
    A 16 yr old girl was raped in Sydney in 1988 by a current senior cabinet minister.
    It’s very hard to believe that Dutton, Morrison or others didn’t know about it.
    If that was a Labor govt, Murdoch would be hounding them out of office and smirky Morrison would be gloating as he helped destroy another Labor govt.

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